Plans submitted for new museum on Inishbofin

Galway daily news Knocknacarra social housing

Plans have been submitted to the county council for a new museum building on Inishbofin to replace the existing, aging premises.

Marie Coyne is seeking planning permission for the construction of a museum with a display area, photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop, archive storage and gift shop with coffee dock at Middlequarter, Inishbofin.

The Inishbofin Heritage Museum was established in 1998 in what was originally a marine storage building adjacent to the old pier.

It houses contents from traditional island homes such as fishing, farming, and trades tools, along with more than 200 photos of local people, and a large archive of written material.

The current building is in “disrepair and totally unsuitable” for properly maintaining and safeguarding this collection of “old and even ancient” cultural objects from Inishbofin and Inishark the application states.

“The small building the applicant is currently using is totally inadequate and undersized for the large collection of valuable objects that have been donated and in some cases saved from destruction.”

“Objects are as diverse as cannons, marine objects, musket balls, manuscripts, 18th century manuscripts, farming implements, early 19th century photographs of inhabitants of both islands, hand written archives”.

The site has also been flooded and damaged by storms repeatedly in recent years, threatening the integrity of the collected items.

“The proposed museum will also house a collection of items from the nearby abandoned island of Inishark where the last inhabitants left in 1968.”

A Natura Impact Statement was submitted with this planning application.

Galway County Council is due to make a decision on whether to grant planning permission for this museum by February 9.